Backpacking is one of the most exciting recreations but can be risky. One must choose wisely of contents in back pack as it is very helpful and pretty important for one’s health and hygiene. The twelve backpack essentials consists of a list that is critical and essential as an insurance against unexpected.

Map & Compass:

It is very important to carry a detailed and elaborate map of the location one is going to visit. Carrying a map makes you prepare for the trip as well as helps one to know about the place. In case of any emergency one can always refer to map to find the path. It is also lucrative to mark important nearby areas on map such as hospitals, police station, nearby village etc. This will help to contact with people nearby in case of any emergency. One must also carry a compass on the journey. Carrying a compass makes it easy to follow the map and instructions. Therefore, It is important to learn how compass works.

Flashlight / Headlamp:

One must carry a flash light/headlamp on the journey whether a day trip or night trip. One never knows when one might need to spend the night. Flashlight/Headlamp plays a very important role in finding a path at night in case of emergency such as lost of direction etc. One must always choose lights that are water resistant and are functionally reliable in all weather conditions, always carry extra batteries along with lights. Make it a point to also carry a small lightweight hand-held light in addition to a headlamp. A small light can be used for simple camp chores.

Extra Food:

One must carry extra food even if it a day trip  in case one gets delayed due to foul weather, or miss the path. Mountaineers carry at least one-day supply for any trek/camp. The food should require little or no cooking.  Food items such as Biscuits, instant noodles, light snacks, chocolates etc.

Extra Clothing:

A backpack must contain a pair of extra clothes, bed sheet, tissue roll which would get you through unplanned worst conditions one might experience.

Eye Protection:

Healthy eyes are critical for safe backcountry travel. Proper consideration of sun protection for your eyes is of utmost importance.The eyes can experience damage from the intensity of mountain skies, ultraviolet rays etc. As one soar high the intensity of ultraviolet rays also increases. Therefore, protecting your eye is a must.

First-Aid Kit:

First aid supplies for minor injuries are must. One should carry bandages, antiseptics, paracetamols, a pair of scissor, cotton, basic medicines etc. Carrying a first aid is very essential as it provides with basic medical care in case of any mishap.

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Pocket Knife & Tools:

Pocket knife and other tools are integral part of backpacking. It helps to keep one safe in any conditions. These tools can be useful in setting up a tent, cooking, hunting for food, or in any adverse conditions.

Water / Filter / Bottles:

One must carry plenty of fresh water, depending upon the area one is going to travel. One must carry enough water to keep oneself hydrated throughout the journey. Dehydration may case fatigue & dizziness.  A mixture of Electoral powder or glucose in water will help to keep energy level maintained throughout the journey. One must also make sure not to drink excess water during travel as it can make one feel more exhausted at times.

Whistle:

Whistle are helpful during emergencies like one is lost someone in the group is lost, or hurt and need help, etc.

Camera

A camera is must for any trip to capture memories during the journey. All the experiences, environment, moments can be beautifully captured and cherished for life with the help of a camera. Trekking or camping is a life time experience and each one is different from other hence capturing important moments become lucrative. It is rightly said and believed few things complement each other perfectly like travel and photograph.

Tent

If one is sure about spending some significant nights, carrying a tent is very important. However it is advisable if it is one night camping it is advisable not to carry too much load in backpack. One can hire a tent depending upon camping location.

Zip Lock Bags

An ingeniously simple and cheap way to keep things like mobile phones and cameras safe is to carry Zip lock bags. For more extreme expeditions River crossing, kayaking, water rappelling etc it is important to carry water proof Zip Lock Bags.

 

Contributed By: Prachi Shah

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